MOVIE THEATER REVIEW: “Thor: Love and Thunder” stars Chris Hemsworth (Snow White and the Huntsman, Bad Times at the El Royale), Natalie Portman (Annihilation , Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith), Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit, What We Do in the Shadows ), Tessa Thompson (Creed, Dear White People), Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, Vice), Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind, Gladiator ), Chris Pratt (The Lego Movie, Jurassic World), Dave Bautista (Blade Runner 2049, Dune ), Karen Gillan (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Not Another Happy Ending), Pom Klementieff (Uncut Gems, Ingrid Goes West), Sean Gunn (The Suicide Squad, Gilmore Girls [TV series]), Vin Diesel (The Fast and the Furious, The Iron Giant), and Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born , Silver Linings Playbook). It is directed by Taika Waititi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson (Unpregnant, Someone Great).
When a being known as the God Butcher (Bale) starts murdering the gods of the universe, it is up to Thor (Hemsworth) and his pals to stop him. Little does the god of thunder realize that an old flame will resurface to help.
Would I have believed you if you told me five years ago that Thor would get four movies? No… no I wouldn’t have. Yet here we are, dipping back into another Taika Thor sequel where the god of thunder searches for his purpose to the tune of 80’s rock. Will this Avenger ever catch a break? Only time will tell.
There are few Marvel films that I possess any care of seeing. Those being the third “Guardians of the Galaxy” installment and “Thor: Love and Thunder” (yep, it’s a short list). Really, it’s a means of continuing the adventures of heroes I enjoy, and supporting the directors behind them. Taika Waititi helms his second Thor outing with ease, throwing caution to the wind as he ups the zaniness, crudeness, and lambasting on this son of Odin and the Marvel universe at large. It’s entertaining, fun, and… that’s about it.
What I loved most about “Thor: Ragnarok” was the exploration of worlds other than earth. For some reason, the first two movies kept planting Thor on our turf, where the filmmakers could have cracked open the entire universe for content. When Taika took over, we finally got to see other planets, and the visual element to creating these worlds was magnificent. With “Love and Thunder” we get the same treatment. I enjoyed the look of this feature and the environments Thor was placed in. Sure, we returned to earth (more so than the last installment), but it wasn’t a mainstay. We get to see many more planets and characters that carve out Thor’s side of the story; some awesome, others meh.
For the most part, “Love and Thunder” is pure, fun escapism. It brings back Jane Foster in a fresh way, giving closure to her and Thor’s relationship that I never knew we needed. Natalie Portman stepped back in the shoes nicely, and the action sequences that showcased her skills were not cringey at all (unlike the female hero power moment in “Endgame”). I enjoyed her turn as a hero in this, and thought her arc was a solid one.
The returning cast to this sequel were cool to see in action as well, from Valkyrie (Thompson) to Korg (Waititi) to the Guardians. They all offered fun bits to balance out Thor, who more often than not served as the absent-minded buffoon of it all. New to the MCU are Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, both of whom did a stellar job. Adding Bale to this was one of the better decisions of “Love and Thunder.” His role of Gorr was an interesting one, and honestly one of the most well-rounded villains I’ve seen from Marvel in quite some time. Of course, his performance is fantastic, and I thought his ending – while cheesy – was nice. Crowe had a unique approach to Zeus. One that I never would have pictured, but hey, it fit with the style of filmmaking Waititi has.
All in all, “Thor: Love and Thunder” is a fun fourth installment. It doesn’t pop off the page as much as it’s predecessor (“Ragnarok”), but it gets the job done with a few cool tricks. If there’s anything tiresome about it, I would say it’s the approach to Thor as a character, which I complained about in “Ragnarok.” Because Waititi is a comedy director, everything is geared toward the joke. Therefore, Thor never holds the potential of becoming the epic, serious hero we know from the comics. It’s sad and kind of annoying (he’s truly become the comic relief), but doesn’t detract too much from the experience to destroy it. At the end of the day, “Love and Thunder” is a popcorn feature and that’s about it. If you’re looking for entertainment, you’ve come to the right place; anything deeper and you might have to look elsewhere. FINAL SCORE: 79%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer:
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